Class 2 Fall 2010 Egypt The End Of The Old Kingdom


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This class discusses the Intermediate period where Egypt was in turmoil and had weak central rule and instead the power was in the hands of the Nomarchs. Nomarchs were the leaders of the forty two regions (nomes) that made up Egypt. We also discuss when did the Intermediate period actually stop and the Middle Kingdom begin.

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Class 2 Fall 2010 Egypt The End Of The Old Kingdom

  1. 1.     The Old Kingdom ended in chaos. Nothing certain is known about what happened, but it seems that the country declined gradually, perhaps due to bad government, or, more likely, due to a series of bad harvests, which resulted in widespread and recurrent famine. <br />The End of the Old Kingdom<br />
  2. 2. Map of Egypt Intermediate – Middle Kingdom<br />
  3. 3. Why? Class Two Ancient EgyptEnd of the Old Kingdom; Asks and Answers Questions??? <br />What was the Political Organization of Egypt at the top levels??<br />What were the Reasons for the Decline from the Monumental Glories of the Old Kingdom?<br />Why was the Intermediate Period the end of Pyramid Building<br />During Re-Unification of Egypt – why did power flow from the Pharaoh in Old Kingdom to the Nomarchs in the Intermediate Period back to Pharaoh in Middle Kingdom<br />
  4. 4. The Political Organizationof Ancient Egypt<br />The Pharaoh ruled by divine decree. A sophisticated central administration was divided into ministries, each headed by a vizier (second in command) some times two viziers. <br />Many of these, though, not all, were royal princes. <br />The regions of Egypt were governed through nomarchs, a post that over time became hereditary. Initially, the regional governors were also members of the royal family.<br />
  5. 5. Organization at Top<br />
  6. 6. Maat Balancing Absolute Power<br />Belief in the Pharaoh’s divinity, a distinctive feature of this, time (old kingdom) was balanced by the concept of Maat<br />Maat was the (daughter of Ra, goddess of truth and justice), justice or order, which it was his responsibility to uphold and effectively curbed excesses of the Pharohs otherwise almost <br />absolute power.<br />
  7. 7. Fall of Pharaoh <br /> The Old Kingdom’s collapse of in in the sixth Dynasty was precipitated by famine, which resulted in Pharaoh being blamed for failing to control the Nile—or for his indifference towards his subjects, which compromised the balance required by Maat<br />
  8. 8. First Intermediate Period<br />What was the First Intermediate period? <br />Answer: It was a period after the Old Kingdom when Egypt was not ruled by a single government. It lasted between 110 and 200 years depending on which sources one trusts. <br />The Old Kingdom appears to have ended towards the end of the 6th Dynasty, and the Middle Kingdom was founded when Upper and Lower Egypt were reunited during the 11th Dynasty:<br />
  9. 9. Last Pharaoh of Old Kingdom – Was His Longevity Part of the Problem??<br />"Following the collapse of the Old Kingdom at the end of the Sixth Dynasty, due to economic disorders and increasing appropriation of power by the nobility, <br />Egypt entered a period of instability with fragmented government under feeble dynasties for almost a century and a half."<br />A few pyramids are known from this First Intermediate Period, but because of the relative weakness of their royal builders they are of no great size and little importance.<br />
  10. 10. NomarchsBefore Dynastic Times Pre-Old Kingdom and in Intermediate Periods<br />Egypt was made up of 42 individual nomes (states), each governed by a nomarch. The nomarch's gained more and more individual power, and by the end of the Old Kingdom nomarchs possessed individual rule over their nome (State).<br />
  11. 11. A nome was a territorial division of Egypt, similar to a district or a province. <br />Egypt was made up of 42 individual nomes, each governed by a nomarch. <br />The nomarch was responsible for tax collection, judicial oversight, and supervision of land projects within the nome. <br />According to the inscription in his tomb, Khnumhotep inherited his claim of Menet-Khufu through his mother, on the death of his predecessor, his uncle, Nakht'b.<br />
  12. 12. The First Intermediate Period<br />The First Intermediate Period was a miserable time for Egypt, when drought spread famine and disease, and the lack of a central government fomented civil unrest.  The land was divided into three kingdoms with ineffective and bickering local administrators based at Memphis, Herakleopolis, and Thebes.  <br />But an ambitious Wasetnomarch (governor of a nome) would set in motion a series of changes that would lay the course for Thebes’ transformation into the capital of all Egypt.   <br />
  13. 13. Old Kingdom Unification – Intermediate –Nomes in Power- Middle Unification<br />During First Intermediate Period Rulers of Nomes held Power.<br />Then in the early half of the Middle Kingdom there was a shift from individual power of the nomarch back to the overseeing of the king. <br />Nomes Ruled States<br />
  14. 14. Warfare and Expansion of Nomes Intermediate Period<br />IntefII launched a northward expansion that captured Abydos, the real seat of power in Upper Egypt, and pressed intoWadkhet, the tenth nome of Upper Egypt.  <br />This campaign was Intef II’s fait accompliand the beginning of the end for the Tenth Dynasty, based at Herakleopolis.<br />
  15. 15. Nomarchs Lost Power<br />Thebes<br />In Middle Egypt, however, the nomarchs still had a considerable amount of wealth and power, along with usurped royal prerogatives. During the later years of Sesostris III the administration of Egypt was centralized and the office of nomarch discontinued.<br />Prior to the Middle Kingdom Period, Thebes was simply the capital of Waset, the fourth nome of Upper Egypt.  It was a quiet little backwater township - The Nomarch of Thebes <br />Re-United Egypt<br />Power Flows Back to Pharaoh – Thebes now Capital – Intermediate/ Middle Kingdom<br />
  16. 16. MENTUHOTEP II, Last Ruler of the Intermediate Period FIRST RULER OF THE MIDDLE KINGDOM<br />Mentuhotep 11 did have a long reign, perhaps as long as 50 years, and peace did finally return to Egypt proper, along with prosperity.  Mentuhotep II initiated a number of building projects most notably his tomb<br />
  17. 17. MENTUHOTEP the 2nd was from Thebes re-United Upper and lower Egypt<br />
  18. 18. Thutmose III's royal list of the 'Hall of Ancestors' monument at Karnak.<br />MentuhotepI was a local Egyptian prince at Thebes during the First Intermediate Period. <br />He became the first openly acknowledged ruler of the Eleventh dynasty by assuming the title of first "supreme chief of Upper Egypt" and, later, declaring himself king over all Egypt. <br />He is named as a nomarch in Thutmose III's royal list of the 'Hall of Ancestors' monument at Karnak.<br />Temple at Karnak<br />
  19. 19. Middle Kingdom – New Capital – New Gods<br />M<br />o<br />N<br />T<br />U<br />Warrior God<br />Rather than move the capital back to Memphis, Mentuhotep II transformed the minor city of Thebes into the capital, and this promotion extended to the local gods as well.  <br />The patron god of Thebes at this time was Montu, a warrior god who was said to possess soldiers on the battlefield, and Mentuhotep II’s namesake<br />—Montu is Content.   <br />But Montu’s winter of discontent was on the horizon.  <br />   <br />Mentuhotep II <br />
  20. 20. Dynasty XI: 2134-1991Was it the Beginning of the Middle Kingdom?<br />In many traditional chronologies, Theban Dynasty XI is included in the Middle Kingdom, not the First Intermediate Period. <br />However, in recent times this notion has been revised among certain Egyptologists. <br />The dynasty existed about 143 years, of which 99 years were spent in a state of civil war with the kingdom divided and only 44 years where the kingdom united in relative peace. <br />
  21. 21. Was the Dynasty XI the beginning of the Middle Kingdom?????<br />Importantly, those final 44 years were a period of political consolidation and nation-building, which only came to fruition at the beginning of Dynasty XII. <br />It is unjustifiable then to consider Dynasty XI as the start of the Middle Kingdom.<br />
  22. 22. What Happened to Egypt??<br />